Knight Frank, YouTube
Knight Frank, YouTube

Live Out Your James Bond Dreams on an $85 Million Private Island in the Bahamas

Knight Frank, YouTube
Knight Frank, YouTube

If you’ve got $85 million to spare, you don’t need to book a vacation to the Bahamas—just buy an island there. A private island called Little Pipe Cay is currently up for sale, as Travel + Leisure alerted us, and it’s a doozy.

Located 270 miles southeast of Miami, it comes complete with five different fully furnished houses with ocean views and private beaches. There are a total of nine bedrooms and nine bathrooms across each, and a village for operations staff to live in.

You can see the incredible aerial view in this flyover promo video from the real estate agency, Knight Frank.

For sea-loving types, there is a barn that is stocked with unspecified “boats and water sports equipment,” according to the listing, and “a number of suitable surrounding locations to moor a super yacht.” (Which is good, because the only way to get to the island other than by boat is by sea plane.) If the crystal-clear ocean doesn’t tempt you, it also has a swimming pool and spa.

The Exumas, an archipelago that contains 365 cays (low, sandy islands), according to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, is "a playground for the rich and famous, boasting numerous private homes, luxury resorts and beachside condos.” Locations in the archipelago have served as film sets for Pirates of the Caribbean movies, James Bond films, and an episode of The Bachelor.

Peruse the listing for yourself from Knight Frank, and prepare to feel some real estate envy.

An aerial view of a mansion on the beach on a private island

A view of the ocean from a covered porch

A swimming pool near the ocean

An aerial view of a beach with a sea plane parked offshore

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

All images courtesy Knight Frank

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Are You Eco-Conscious? You Could Win a Trip to the Dominican Republic
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iStock

Do you love lounging on the beach but also want to take action to save the planet? You'll be able to do both if you're chosen to serve as a "sustainability advisor" for a luxury resort in the Dominican Republic, Lonely Planet reports.

The worldwide contest is sponsored by Eden Roc at Cap Cana in Punta Cana. The winner and one friend will receive a five-night stay at the Relais & Châteaux hotel, where they'll partake in specially curated activities like a food-sourcing trip with the hotel's chef. (One caveat, though: Airfare isn't included.)

You don't need a degree in conservation to enter, but you will need an Instagram account. Give the resort's Instagram page (@edenroccapcana) a follow and post a photo of you carrying out an eco-friendly activity on your own page. Be sure to tag the resort and use the official hashtag, #EcoEdenRoc.

The only requirement is that the winner meet with hotel staff at the end of his or her trip to suggest some steps that the hotel can take to reduce its environmental impact. The hotel has already banned plastic straws and reduced its usage of plastic bottles, and the sole mode of transport used on site is the electric golf cart.

Beyond the resort, though, the Dominican Republic struggles with deforestation and soil erosion, and the nation scored poorly on the 2018 Environmental Performance Index for the agricultural category.

Entries to the contest will be accepted until August 31, and you can read the full terms and conditions here.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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What Happens When You Flush an Airplane Toilet?
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iStock

For millions of people, summer means an opportunity to hop on a plane and experience new and exciting sights, cultures, and food. It also means getting packed into a giant commercial aircraft and then wondering if you can make it to your next layover without submitting to the anxiety of using the onboard bathroom.

Roughly the size of an apartment pantry, these narrow facilities barely accommodate your outstretched knees; turbulence can make expelling waste a harrowing nightmare. Once you’ve successfully managed to complete the task and flush, what happens next?

Unlike our home toilets, planes can’t rely on water tanks to create passive suction to draw waste from the bowl. In addition to the expense of hauling hundreds of gallons of water, it’s impractical to leave standing water in an environment that shakes its contents like a snow globe. Originally, planes used an electronic pump system that moved waste along with a deodorizing liquid called Anotec. That method worked, but carrying the Anotec was undesirable for the same reasons as storing water: It raised fuel costs and added weight to the aircraft that could have been allocated for passengers. (Not surprisingly, airlines prefer to transport paying customers over blobs of poop.)

Beginning in the 1980s, planes used a pneumatic vacuum to suck liquids and solids down and away from the fixture. Once you hit the flush button, a valve at the bottom of the toilet opens, allowing the vacuum to siphon the contents out. (A nonstick coating similar to Teflon reduces the odds of any residue.) It travels to a storage tank near the back of the plane at high speeds, ready for ground crews to drain it once the airplane lands. The tank is then flushed out using a disinfectant.

If you’re also curious about timing your bathroom visit to avoid people waiting in line while you void, flight attendants say the best time to go is right after the captain turns off the seat belt sign and before drink service begins.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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